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Julia Wertz’s Triumphant Illustrated History of New York City

Full disclosure—I have been a fan of Julia Wertz‘s amazing graphic work long before the publication of her recent smash hit entitled Tenements, Towers and Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, so let’s forget objectivity. I discovered Julia’s prodigious talent through her work in the New Yorker. Although I have never met Julia we have exchanged emails and we are kindred spirits, bonded by our mutual love for New York City and its rich past.

Perhaps the biggest gulf separating us as writers is Julia’s prodigious talent as an illustrator, which makes her book such a joy to read from beginning to end. (My drawings make my students either laugh in ridicule or cringe.) It is not just how she sketches, but what she draws that makes her book so close to my heart. She has done excellent renderings of many of the quirky places in New York that I love and teaches me things about those places I never knew. Continue reading

Category: (Not)Forgotten Greenpoint, Art/Music, Culture, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Greenpoint Doughboy: A Tragic Tale of A Greenpointer in World War I

November 11th will mark the ninety-ninth anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Even though America entered the conflict late, declaring war in April of 1917, the “Great War” had a profound impact locally. At least a hundred and twenty-three local men died in the conflict. In his fascinating book Greenpoint Doughboy, author Peter McHale describes the life and death of one of his great-uncle, John McKay, a graduate of St. Cecelia’s Parochial School who lived on Meeker Avenue and joined the famous New York Irish Regiment, “ The Fighting Sixty-Ninth.” McKay tragically became one of the more than 116,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Continue reading

Category: Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , | 0 Comments

F*CK, That’s Delicious: Mouthy Rapper Action Bronson’s Dinner & Book Release Party at Nitehawk

Action Bronson at Nitehawk Cinema
Action Bronson at Nitehawk Cinema, via Instagram

If you have not heard of rapper, former chef and Viceland host Action Bronson’s low culture cult following, you may soon be aware of his larger-than-life presence. Born in Queens and reportedly living in North Brooklyn, he has become an icon somewhat for his brazen rap stylings, but is probably more acclaimed for his self-proclaimed lyrical adoration of the pre-packaged foods most of us grew up with—chicken tenders, Starburst, Steak-umms; and his more complex and grown-up gourmet tastes—steak that’s aged for over 20 days, lamb that’s been roasted over 7 hours, stuffing filled with truffles and pears. As a chubby, foul-mouthed yet lovable character, he appeals to many: the shameless (those who would happily chow down on dirty water hotdogs), the detail-oriented (people who would source the best ingredients to create a very simple meal) and the fun-food-havers (regular people at a backyard BBQ where the smoker’s been going for hours, where homemade food and booze is abundant and anything goes). Continue reading

Category: Art/Music, Eat & Drink, Film | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Hot off the Press: Pics From The Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair

Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair - photo by Kate Truisi
Peeping on Lindsay Dye’s cake sitting performance

This weekend, Greenpoint played host to the first ever Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. The event, presented by MATTE Magazine, lasted all day Saturday and Sunday at Point Green Studio (260 Java St), and featured not only titillating books, zines and gifts for sale, but also cheeky performance art (including a cake sitting performance by Lindsay Dye), music and more.

All photos by Kate Truisi. Continue reading

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Showdown: BBQ, Takedowns & Cooking In Greenpoint With Jenn de la Vega

Jenn de la Vega, photo by Collin Clark

Baste it, taste it and tweak it again. Showdown is a cookbook about feeding the conversation along with the person.

This week, we sat down with Greenpointer and self-described “meat-head” Jenn de la Vega to talk about how competing (and winning) local competitions sparked Showdown, the cookbook.

GP: Hey Jenn! Tell us about Showdown.

De la Vega: Showdown is a compilation of 100 recipes I’ve entered into competitions. It’s not only about the ones that won. I think the big part of the story is the failure and journey along the way, building a strange cooking career out of competition, creativity and personal challenges.

GP: Did you always want to be a chef?

Jenn breaks out into a big grin.
De la Vega: Actually, I never had intentions of being a chef. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

The Fascinating “King of Greenpoint” at Shayz Lounge

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Author Geoff Cobb reads colorful tales of legendary Greenpoint politician, Peter McGuinness on Tuesday night at Shayz Lounge.

Last night, local historian, teacher, and author Geoffrey Cobb delighted a full house at Shayz Lounge (130 Franklin Street) with a selection of readings from his latest book, The King of Greenpoint. The book is about Peter J. McGuinness, the man for whom McGuinness Boulevard is named.

McGuinness was born on Eagle Street in 1888, and despite having no high school eduction and being a 300-pound lumber handler and blue collar laborer, managed to become one of the most influential politicians Greenpoint has ever seen.

Through pure charisma, lots of street smarts, and an ardent dedication to his everyday, working class constituents, McGuinness was able to get elected as an alderman in 1919, thus beginning a long and rich political career.  Continue reading

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Top 10 Summer Reads About Greenpoint

Want some Summer reading about our neighborhood? Here’s a list of books related to Greenpoint. People ask me how I researched my account of local history Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past. The answer partially is that I read the books in the list below.

Screen shot 2016-06-05 at 2.13.53 PM1) Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia, Joe Pistone
The amazing story of how an Italian American F.B.I agent got into the Greenpoint Mafia, risking his life, but also taking down more than a hundred mobsters.

2) Historic Greenpoint, William Felter
The first book on local history, Felter published his remarkable book about a century ago. It tells the area’s history, but omits the dark chapters of Greenpoint’s Past—well worth a read though. And since it’s out of copyright, it’s free to download. Continue reading

Category: Historical Greenpoint, Reading, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Taste for Books: Bryant Terry’s Afro-Vegan

Collage from Archestratus' Instagram
Collage via Archestratus’ Instagram

Welcome to a new Greenpointers food series called A Taste for Books. We’ll be taking a page from the monthly cookbook club and potluck hosted by our Greenpoint neighbors, Archestratus (visit them at 160 Huron Street), featuring a different cookbook each month paired with insights from the monthly discussion. Thanks for joining us on this adventure that will highlight scrumptious recipes, dissect interesting ingredients and generally recap what happens when you mix cooks with books in Greenpoint.

First up – Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed (2014). Read more after the jump. Continue reading

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Archestratus: A Book and Food Lover’s Sanctuary

 

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Book lovers and foodies will truly appreciate the newest addition to the neighborhood: Archestratus Books and Food. The new store is a bookshop that specifically focuses on cookbooks and books related to food, along with gifts, pens, notecards, and cooking gifts and accessories. There’s also a café in the back serving sweet and savory homemade Sicilian pastries, along with tea, coffee, beer, and wine.

The bookshop is named for Archestratus, who was a poet and philosopher, and one of the first foodies (before that was a term). Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Reading, Reviews, Style/Shopping | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments

‘Larry And Friends’—A Storybook For Kids of All Ages

What happens when two New York transplants—a writer and an illustrator—feel that New York is as much their home as do its natives? They join creative forces to write a children’s book about immigration, called Larry and Friends.

Meet Larry, the juggler from Brooklyn ©Jaspar/Torres

Larry and Friends is a modern treatment of a people desirous of something different in a country other than their own. Continue reading

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